Friday, December 23, 2011

Father's Legacy Inspires Susan's 'Mushin Martial Arts Academy'

When Susan King’s father sadly passed away, Susan decided to use the money he had left her to carry on his legacy and do something she knew would make him proud. So she took the brave step to set up her own martial arts academy ‘Mushin Marital Arts’.

Susan started training in martial arts at just 15 years of age when her father expressed his keenness to have her be able to defend herself. Although Susan had built up her career working as a manageress in sports retail, she developed her martial arts training over 26 years offering classes on a voluntary basis in the community.

Now a 5th degree black belt ‘godan’ Susan is one of the few women in the UK to be ranked so highly and she is keen to see more women have a go at the sport. “Women seem to think that they can’t do it”, says Susan, “However, it’s not a sport that uses strength; it is more about self-defence. Anyone can do it; women just need more confidence to try it out.”

At the point of setting up her business Susan had been out of work for several months, and the thought of signing off benefits to work for herself was both daunting and exciting. Susan was directed to The Women’s Organisation for support via another local support service. She said “I did my business plan with one of their business advisers who was so helpful. Capital was the main barrier in setting up the business, so I was glad of help to put together grant applications.”

The Mushin Marital Arts Academy were awarded grant funding from local enterprise initiative Stepclever to enable them to cover their business start-up costs.

“I’m feeling positive that we’ve managed to open the academy, and everyone who has come through the doors has said it’s fantastic. We really have tried to make sure there is something for everyone, from suiting the traditionalists to those who are into their MMA and I think we’ve managed to achieve that.”

Mushin Martial Arts Academy which is located at 180a Queens Drive offers a range of classes including: Japanese Ju-Jitsu, Sambo (which is a Russian form of wrestling),Women’s Thai boxing, fitness classes, Aiki Budo, Thai Boxing, children’s boxing and grappling, little Samurai’s and Combatives - fitness class. To find out more about the classes on offer from Mushin Martial Arts visit or contact Susan on 0790612610. You can also follow @mushinacademy on Twitter or befriend them on facebook.

Reflecting on her achievement Susan said “This is something I have always passionately wanted to do. Working for yourself gives you more drive. It’s your own, not someone else’s and that is a great feeling.”

Susan’s advice to other women considering self-employment is “Get help from someone who knows what they are doing. There was so much that goes into a business plan I hadn’t realised needed to go in it. If it wasn’t for The Women’s Organisation I would still be running around in circles.”

If like Susan you are looking for support in following your dream to start up your own business call The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 and find out about the range of FREE services we can offer. You can also email or visit

Hatch Biz-Start to Launch in January

Hatch is a ‘one stop shop’ offering a unique opportunity for start up businesses to access a range of professional and advisory services completely free of charge.

You will be provided with professional legal, accountancy and taxation advice to ensure that your business is compliant, has the optimum structure and a solid grounding. You will also receive guidance on business strategy and how to grow and market your venture.

The service includes free initial meetings with a Solicitor, Accountant, Business Adviser and PR Specialist. You will also receive free follow up advice on any topics and concerns raised in the meetings as well as useful resource materials.

There is no initial outlay and no obligation to sign up with any of the organisations involved.

Involved with Hatch are The Women's Organisation Clients Clare Delve PR & Communications and RMC Accountancy.

Hatch are holding a launch party on Thursday 26th January 6.30pm at Hannah's Bar. To get yourself on the guestlist, or to find out more about the network call 0151 229 1171 or email

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Start the New Year with Postive Networking and a New You

Start 2012 Positively with The Women’s Organisation Business Club ‘New Year New You’ networking evening.

Held on:
Wednesday 18th January 6pm-8.30pm
Held at:
The Women's Organisation,
54 St James Street
L1 0AB

As well as enjoying business networking and light refreshments, gather tips from our experts to set you off on the right foot for 2012.

Healthy Body
Owner of ‘One Body Fitness’, Business Club member Jen Mercer will be offering top tips for feeling good and keeping healthy in 2012. As a health and fitness coach Jen says she is “100% Dedicated to getting REAL women...REAL results!!!”

Healthy Mind
The Women’s Organisation Training Co-ordinator and NLP Practitioner Bernie Cox will be offering handy hints on how to stay focussed and keep your mind positive while making plans for your business for the forthcoming year

This event is FREE to members of The Women's Organisation business club. If you are not yet a member, but are a woman running her own business in the north west and would like to find out how to join, contact our team for more details.

To find out more or to book a place, contact us on 0151 706 8111 or email

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wirral Women Get a Confidence Boost With The Women's Organisation

The Women's Organisation in partnership with Women's Enterprise Breakthrough offered Wirral women a boost to their confidence during the last few months. The 'Step Up' Programme which was part of a 'Neighbourhood Learning in Deprived Communities' initiatve was run over three weeks and covered:

• Positive Thinking and Learning about Yourself
• How to Become a More Assertive You
• Building Your Communication Skills
• Identifying Your Skills and Developing a Personal Profile
• How to Present Yourself with Confidence

Each woman who attended was given chance to reflect on their journey during the programme and were positive to see the progress they had made. Comments left when the course finished included:

"I have really enjoyed this course. It's been very interesting and enjoyable"

"I feel my confidence has grown in myself. My knowledge in my qualities has been uplifiting. Thank you"

"I really enjoyed the course and all that I learnt. Bernie (the trainer) is a warm and inspiring woman"

"This was all really good. I was very impressed and loved the tutor"

The Women's Organisation continue to support women's personal development, both locally and internationally. For more information on how we offer support please visit

Monday, December 19, 2011

Knowsley's Angela Launches 'McAllister Mobile Chiropody/Podiatry' Business

When Angela McAllister graduated from University it had been her plan to pursue a career with the NHS. “With the government cuts I found there were just no jobs, so I thought self-employment was the best way to go” said Angela.

Knowsley resident Angela contacted Business Link for guidance and was directed to women’s enterprise support agency The Women’s Organisation.

“My business adviser was just lovely. She helped me with my business plan, my costings and marketing plan. It was in speaking to her that I realised I definitely wanted to go self-employed. I also did courses on tax and basic book keeping at The Women’s Organisation which were great”

Planning her business was a real learning curve for Angela who reflected “I had always envisioned that my customers would mainly be the elderly, but while I was doing my market research I got in touch with Asda who agreed to let me test my services on staff. It was then I realised younger people could really benefit too.”

Angela was concerned knowing that there would be a lot of trained professionals leaving University in the same predicament as her and realised she needed a unique selling point to help her stand out from the crowd. “In discussions with my adviser Francine I mentioned that I had previously been a beauty therapist. I realised combining those skills with the health care training I had done would give me the competitive edge.”

Upon starting her business Angela was awarded a £200 grant from The Women’s Organisation and £600 from Knowsley Council’s Fresh Start scheme that helped her to buy her equipment. “I was delighted with the funding. It helped me to get what I needed to make me look professional.”

As well as running her own business ‘McAllister Mobile Chiropdy/Podiatry’, Angela takes care of her elderly parents. “Working for myself means that I can organise my appointments around caring for them” she said. “I can do their shopping or nip to see them at lunch or between appointments. It’s a real help.”

Angela is feeling positive about the progress of her business to date and has built up a strong client base of repeat custom, nursing homes and family groups. “Each month I have made more than the month before and that’s great. I love what I do. I love treating feet and I love that I have flexibility to offer appointments at any time between 8am and 8pm and to be able to support clients who don’t want to hang on the 4 or 5 months they can wait for treatment through the NHS. People’s feet are never as bad as they think. Any problems with feet I can either fix myself or refer a client on to the best person to help.”

Angela’s advice to other women considering self-employment is “Go along to The Women’s Organisation to get help with your business plan. I wouldn’t have known where to start without them, and they are great for continued support. Facebook has also been great for my business. I’m going into the homes of people I don’t know anything about quite often, so connecting through facebook helps you to get to know a bit about them first.”

McAllister Mobile Chiropody/Podiatry provide a mobile chiropody service which offers skin and nail treatments combined with lower leg and foot massage in the comfort of your own home. Angela is fully qualified and is registered with the health professions council, The Society of Chiropodist and podiatrist which means she has full insurance cover. For more information or to book appointments call Angela on 07548747475 or find her business on facebook.

If you are thinking about creating your own job by using your skills and qualifications to set up a small business, then contact The Women’s Organisation for advice and support on 0151 706 8111 or

Photography by Abi Booth

Business Women Get Festive With The Women's Organisation

The Women's Organisation Business Club met for the final networking push of the year with 'Festive Fun' networking.

The evening held at 54 St James Street conferencing centre featured stalls from local businesses including Samz Accessories, O'Naturelle and Hours of Fun, business pitches and festive networking and nibbles.

The women who attended said:
‘Loved the freedom of choice re Networking’
‘Thank you for a lovely evening – great to meet all the ladies’
‘Great atmosphere, very friendly’
‘Loved the atmosphere, brilliant people, very relaxed but engaging. Can’t wait for the next one’
‘Spoke to lots of people – some I’ve met before, but most for the first time’
‘Lovely, ‘safe’ environment’
‘The event was ten times better than expected and I would be delighted to attend any further event’
‘I thought this was an excellent opportunity to meet like minded women. Thank you’

If you are a woman running your own business in the north west of England and you would like to join our free business club to take advantage of networking and specialist training events throughout 2012 then contact our team for a membership pack on 0151 706 8111 or

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bare Face Marketing Thriving Through a Tough Economy

“When recessions hit, marketing is the first place businesses look to cut” says Emma Callaghan of Bare Face Marketing. Having worked in the field for 18 years, Emma found that redundancy had been on the cards too many times. She decided to take positive action and create her own job by setting up a marketing business.

“I’d worked in ‘corporate suited and booted’ marketing for a long time and built up experience working with TV, radio, press, branding and communications. I launched hundreds of products into supermarkets in the UK and Australia from cleaning products, to pharmaceutical products and finally food. Being made redundant also presented me the opportunity to fulfil a lifelong dream of living and working in Australia. Moving back I found the economic climate was tougher than ever. No one was hiring, and no one was moving on. It was time for a change.”

During a weekend away in London Emma had time to reflect on her ideas. “I came back up North with my idea and made a start. I knew what my skills were, but it was how to put it into words. It took around 6 months to finally clarify my business model in a business plan. I wanted to utilise my own skills in branding, copywriting, social media and creativity and link with other freelancers who could fill the gaps in my skillset such as graphic design and technical elements.”

Emma approached The Women’s Organisation for advice and support and said of the service “It was really useful. Obviously I didn’t need support with marketing, but it helped me to focus my mind on writing my business plan. It helped me to answer questions like ‘Why do you want to be this? Who are your customers? Who are your competitors?’ It really helped me to clarify my vision. It was advice there as and when I needed it and a truthful sounding board for my ideas.”

Emma admitted, “In terms of working with a woman focused organisation I suppose I don’t necessarily have the same pressures as some other women in business. I don’t have kids to work around and I come from a corporate world so can adapt to conventional business style events and am not intimidated by suits. I found that the service was really inclusive and offers all women the opportunity to take from it what they need.”

Bare Face Marketing offer support with branding, Content Management System (CMS) based websites, business stationery such as business cards, letterheads, compliments slips, advertising materials such as banners and leaflets, planning campaigns and support with setting up and understanding how to use social media.

“Being self-employed can be lonely. You need to get out there and network” said Emma. “I’d advise anyone going into business to keep on top of their finances. Understand your financial commitments and overheads and make friends with your accountant. If someone suggests support that they think you need, don’t cut corners or dismiss it. Cut your cloth according to what you have, but also to your plan for the future.”

2 years on from launching in Sefton, Bare Face Marketing now support clients across the northwest and are continuing to build their portfolio. “The best thing about running my own business is the real sense of achievement” Emma reflected. “When working as a cog within a wheel, decisions and glory for your ideas can be taken away from you. There is a great satisfaction in seeing something through from beginning to end and knowing ‘this business is succeeding because of me’. When you have completed a piece of work and the client says ‘that is amazing I could kiss you’ you know the hard work has paid off.”

Emma is passionate about marketing and sees that alongside her 18 years of experience as her unique selling point. “I think for most businesses the thought of marketing as a whole can seem so overwhelming. Branding for me is a great place to start. Everything builds from there really. People tend to set up a website or a Facebook page without really understanding why or what the purpose is. You would never, as someone who hasn’t cooked before, dive straight in and make a three course gourmet dinner. You have to start somewhere and branding for me is a logical first step.” Now a member of The Chartered Institute of Marketing, and a Chartered Marketer Emma invites those interested in her background and experience to look her up on LinkedIn.

To find out more about how Bare Face Marketing can help you with your own marketing strategy contact Emma via or call her on 07912 679 955, or visit

If, like Emma you have a passion that you would like to turn into a successful business venture then contact The Women’s Organisation on or 0151 706 8111 to find out what free support is available to women.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Festive Networking with The Women's Organisation Business Club

Join The Women's Organisation Business Club for 'Festive Fun' Networking

AT: The Women's Organisation, 54 St James St, Liverpool, L1 0AB
ON: Thursday 15th December, 6pm-8.30pm

For our last Business Club event of the year we will be enjoying networking and nibbles. We will also have a festive marketplace, so come prepared to grab some last minute goodies from the stalls.


To book your place please contact or call 0151 706 8111.

If you are a women running your own business in the north west of England, and you are not yet a member of our business club, but would like to join and take advantage of regular networking opportunities - contact our team on

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book Now for 2012 at 54 St James Street!

Conferencing and meeting facilities are filling up fast for 2012 at 54 St James Street. Among the hi-lights of events to be held at the £5.3m Women's International Centre for Economic Development (WICED) will be events for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress coming to Liverpool in March.

If you are planning an event for next year this fully accessible and flexible venue could be the perfect location to host your business meeting, conference or private event. A range of individually styled rooms appropriate for gatherings of 2 to 150 people are available for hire.

With friendly reception staff, complimentary wireless access throughout the building and a range of audio visual facilities including integrated data projectors, blu-ray players and smart boards; plasma screens for projection or TV; and video conferencing facilities this building meets the needs of people who require a highly professional service in a contemporary setting.

A 10% discount is offered on room rates to tenants of the building and smaller charities/social enterprises with an annual turnover less than £250,000. Book early to avoid disappointment.

And if you are looking for a more permanent business solution don't forget that contemporary offices are available on the first, second and third floor of the building. Offering a prestigious L1 address and interesting city views to women led businesses and social enterprises, this high quality, multi-use building offers individual rooms to accommodate businesses of one to twelve people with prices starting at £165 per calendar month and £15 for virtual office services.

For further information, including room capacity, viewings, a competative quote and bookings please phone Sandra on 0151 706 8100 or email

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fierce Management's Jen Shows Women Can Make Their Mark in the Music Industry

Spend just 5 minutes with Liverpool’s Jen Corrigan and you will experience her infectious passion for the music industry. Jen’s business ‘Fierce Management’, which she set up with friend and business partner Karl Connor, has successfully celebrated its first birthday and is continuing to build momentum.

Speaking to The Women’s Organisation about her journey Jen told us “I’ve worked in the industry for 11 years, from doing an A-Level in Radio Production I went to work at Radio City. I had a hand in organising events there and through that I was approached by a well-known local girl band to work with them as a P.A. Two and a half years on the band sadly split leaving me facing redundancy which meant I had to go back to office work, which was just not what I wanted to do. I carried on organising events and gigs on the side to keep my hand in, mostly with friends or local bands I knew well.”

Jen knew she really wanted to push forward her career in music, so applied for a degree course to widen her experience. “I had always wanted to go to LIPA and so I was delighted when I was offered a place to study for a BA Hons in Music and Entertainment Management” she said. “That’s where I met Karl who is now my business partner. We were similar age, had worked on the same sort of circuit over the years and when we worked on joint projects in LIPA we jelled well. In our final year we worked at Simon Cowell’s booking agency IMG for a practical management project. Through that we were offered placements on the 2009 series of X Factor looking after contestants, bookings, diaries. It was a great learning curve. Following the work with IMG I was offered a job with Simon Cowell’s company, but I decided it wasn’t for me. It was a very controlled environment and I wanted to have more of a say. It was then Karl and I decided to set up Fierce Management. We had both worked for other people and we felt the time was right to do it for ourselves.”

Once Jen and Karl had decided that self-employment was the route for them, there was no stopping the ambitious duo. Jen said “We jumped in feet first really. When we graduated from LIPA we won the Paul McCartney Enterprise award for our business idea that we put together in our final year. We went along to The Women’s Organisation for extra advice and support and were able to apply for a £200 grant that helped us to set up our website which a lot of business has come through since. Since then we have set up our office, been all over the country, signed up good solid artists and a decent set of clients for our event management side of the business.”

In looking for potential artists to work with Jen said “We don’t do fame hungry or karaoke. We wanted artists who write and perform their own music. Some of the artists we have signed up in perhaps unconventional ways. Zara, for example, was a busker who had moved up from Abergele in Wales. Zara is now working with writers from Sony/ATV and writers who have worked with Paloma Faith, Robbie Williams and Plan B. She has performed with artists such as Sugababes, Blue, Pixie Lott and Alexandra Burke.

Reflecting on her leap of faith into self-employment Jen said “I feel 110% that we have done the right thing. Working for yourself allows you to do what you want to do. There is a freedom of following something you enjoy. Don’t get me wrong – it is tough to survive in this industry. You have to take time to develop an artist, and maybe make sacrifices along the way. But we wouldn’t change it. Karl and I see Fierce more like a family than a business.”

Looking back at lessons learned over the time of setting her business up Jen advises others thinking of branching out for themselves “Be forceful and pester. Never leave an email unanswered. It’s so satisfying when people you have pestered then come back to pester you. Go with your gut if it feels right. As long as you believe in yourself you can do it.”

Fierce management currently manage artists such as ’10 Reasons to Live’, ‘Zara’, ‘Paul Thomas’, ‘Rich Lown’ and offer a unique and dedicated event production service to a range of high profile venues and organisations, including producing live tours, entertainment productions, live music events, corporate events, launch events and social events.

To find out more about the event production services Fierce Management offer, and to hear more about their artists visit or contact Or experience a bit of Fierce Management in person by joining them for a Christmas party hosted by 10 Reasons To Live at Eric's Liverpool on 27th December. Tickets are just £5 and can be bought online at

And if like Jen you have a passion you would like to turn into a business, contact The Women’s Organisation on or 0151 706 8111 to find out what free support is on offer.

Photography by Abi Booth

From Unemployment to Self-Employment for Anfield's Angela

Having been long term unemployed, Anfield’s Angela Corser was tired of living on benefits, but was fighting an uphill battle trying to find suitable work in a recession. “There were just no jobs out there” she said, “So I decided to get myself sorted. I had been a hairdresser in the past, so I went back to college and did a refresher course, moving on to do an advanced qualification at Wirral Met. From there I decided to create my own job by setting myself up as a mobile hairdresser.”

Angela had tried to pursue self-employment before, but found her lack of capital to start teamed with lack of business experience just meant doors were slammed in her face. She heard that The Women’s Organisation could offer free help and advice to women setting up their own business and thought she would give them a try.

Angela said “They were really good. The business adviser they gave me just pointed me in the right direction, and showed me what I needed to do. I hadn’t realised how many regulations I needed to abide by for a small business, but I was guided through them and they were made clear.”

The Women’s Organisation let Angela know that there was funding available for new businesses in her area through enterprise initiative Stepclever. Having been given support to complete a grant application Angela was delighted to learn she had successfully been awarded £1000 to help get her business started.

“The money is a big help” said Angela. “It has helped me to get my equipment and a wide range of advertising materials such as flyers, business cards, even a sticker for my car. I’ve also been able to purchase a uniform which helps to make me look professional and makes it feel real.”

Reflecting on her journey so far 25 year old Angela said “I have definitely made the right decision. Coming off benefits isn’t easy, and understanding the different requirements you need to meet to be legal and to get funding can be difficult, but it’s got to be done. You can’t stay on benefits forever. It’s no way to live.”

Angela found facebook particularly useful for beginning to drum up interest for her business. “I’ve started to build a client base through friends and family, and then through facebook through old connections I had perhaps forgotten about. It’s been a god send. I’ve also done taster sessions to show people what I can do which seems to be working. You’ve got to be self-motivated when running your own business. It takes a lot of hard work, but you have to stay positive.”

Lushious Locks Liverpool offer a vast array of hair treatments including: Cut and blow, Curly blow, Hair up, Shampoo and set, Root tint, Full or half head foils, Full or half head foils with tint or semi, Hair SOS for DIY experiments gone wrong, Hair extensions – sewn or glued and made to measure, Extension colouring, Making and application of double hair, Brazilian blow dry (semi-permanent straightening technique), Individual party hi-lights, and Alternative dreads or braiding. As routine Angela always does skin testing to safeguard against allergic reactions and is also offering PPD free hair dying for those who are concerned about possible reaction.

Angela is now on a business management scheme with Job Centre Plus that will hopefully help her to safeguard her business through its first year, and she is feeling positive about the future. “If my friend said they were going to set up their own business I would send them straight to The Women’s Organisation” said Angela. “They were the most helpful organisation I have dealt with. It’s alright talking about what you want to do, but you’ve got to get it done, and The Women’s Organisation were a big help to me.”

To find out more about the treatments on offer from Lushious Locks Liverpool you can visit their website facebook page or contact Angela on 07908 654 082 or

And if like Angela you want support to get off benefits and create a job for yourself, then contact The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 or

Friday, December 2, 2011

Craft Your Way Through the Recession with 'Hours of Fun'

Craft enthusiast Rachel Garner is hoping to bring ‘Hours of Fun’ to Liverpool and beyond. Rachel’s haberdashery and craft shop can be found online at and retails both homemade items ready-made, and craft kits to be able to make your own bits and bobs and maybe save some money during the recession.

Having come from a family of teachers, 32 year old Rachel had always felt the pressure to pursue a structured career path. She found herself working in admin and HR, but couldn’t resist the pull of her true passion which was crafts and creativity.
“I have been making my own cards and other bits for 10 or 12 years now”, said Rachel. “I just love making things. When I completed my certificate in training practice through my day job and found I’d got a distinction, it got me thinking about what else I could use those skills for.”

A friend Rachel met through a cake decorating course told her how The Women’s Organisation had helped her to set up her own business. Rachel decided to get in touch and see if she could turn her hobby into a business. Having never done a business plan before Rachel was really grateful for the help from her business adviser at the organisation and said “The template they gave me was amazing”.
At first Rachel felt a little overwhelmed having never run a business before and said “after my first meeting I went home and said to my hubby ‘I just can’t do it’. It’s great to see where I am now. I couldn’t have done it without The Women’s Organisation”.

Rachel also attended training courses around book keeping and understanding tax and national insurance with the organisation which she found were “really useful and good for meeting other people”.

As well as an online store ‘Hours of Fun’ are going to be launching training courses in the new year, offering opportunity for adults to meet together to learn a craft such as card making, or to add a bit of fun to a children’s party decorating your own cup-cakes, or painting your own pots.

“My dream is to bring crafts to all ages to inspire creativity and home crafting” she enthused. “Crafts are really back in fashion. I think with the recession people are looking for cheaper options. Crafts can be the fun and affordable way forward.”
Reflecting on the currently popular show ‘Kirstie’s Handmade Britain’ with Kirstie Allsop Rachel said “Much like Kirstie I just love trying lots of different crafts and like to think of myself as a ‘jack of all crafts’, but my favourites at the moment are card making and felting.”

Having turned her dream into reality and launched her own business, Rachel said “It’s been a huge learning curve. I am lucky to have a good support network of family and friends who all have a variety of skills and have been able to help me along the way. If someone else were to ask me for advice on setting up a business I would say contact The Women’s Organisation before you do, attend all the classes for the information and the people you meet, and do it at a speed that suits you. I am a person who likes to carefully research things before jumping in. Sometimes in doing that I found myself making excuses to other people as to why I wasn’t pushing things along faster. But I have realised that it is better to go at your own speed and do all the research first.”

To find out more about Hours of Fun, visit their website or email Rachel on

If like Rachel you would like to turn your hobby into a profitable business then contact The Women’s Organisation to see what free support is on offer on 0151 706 8111 or

Friday, November 25, 2011

Parcours Offer 'Building Cultural Competance' Training at 54 St James Street

Parcours invite you to a one day interactive seminar 'Building Cultural Competence within your working practices'.

Providing greater awareness of the impact we have on others through our everyday behaviours in the role of manager or employee.
The workshop aims;
• To introduce participants to the key concepts of cultural identity development
• To introduce the principles required to operate from a perspective which embraces diversity
• To guide participants to tools that can cultivate personal development and awareness

Date: Monday 16th January 2012
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Venue: 54 St James Street Liverpool Merseyside L1 0AB

The session is facilitated by an experienced facilitator recognised nationally in their field of expertise

Price includes:
• Refreshments & Light Lunch
• Certificate of participation for you individual CPD

Total Investment
Sector of Civil Society organisations £75
Statutory / public / other £140
Early bird booking discount available!
Tel: 0151 706 8138

The Women's Organisation and Stepclever Enjoy Floating Grace Maiden Voyage

The Floating Grace – a 70ft long, 13.5ft wide canal boat – set sail on her maiden voyage yesterday. Onboard to enjoy the ride were local business women from North Liverpool and South Sefton. The networking event with a difference was hosted by local enterprise agency The Women's Organisation thanks to sponsorship from Stepclever.

The barge set sail at Mann Island Basin and the business women enjoyed a leisurely three hour journey through the new Liverpool Canal Link past the Three Graces and taking in the other historic city sites on the way.

In order to establish the Floating Grace, the Vauxhall Neighbourhood Council (VNC), one of the city’s leading social enterprises, received a £20,000 grant from Stepclever which helps start up businesses and existing organisations in North Liverpool and South Sefton grow and develop.

The business women were given a brief history of the project before setting off, then handed over to female skipper Jackie to navigate the waterway while high-lighting some local points of interest.

The Women's Organisation's Bernie Cox gave the women a whistle stop tour of top 'networking hints and tips' before setting them off to put the tips into practice over delightful canapes.

Enterprise Enabler from The Women's Organisation Ali McGrath then gave a motivational talk to the women, encouraging them to support each other to iron out common issues for businesses in their community. The Women's Organisation are hosting a 'Women's Business Forum' particularly for the women running businesses in North Liverpool on Monday 5th December from 6pm-8pm. The forum, which will be held at 54 St James Street L1 0AB, will be an opportunity for local business women to meet with representatives from Liverpool City Council and Stepclever Business Neighbourhoods team to discuss common causes of concern, and to look at positive action that can be taken.

To finish off, Enterprise Director Jackie Williams offered her thanks to the crew and Stepclever for their help in putting together the event, and 2 lucky business women won a box of chocolates and a bottle of bubbly.

Comments left by the women who were at the event included:

"Just amazing! Fabulous venue, fabulous network. Thank you."

"Always had a kick in my step regarding business, but I fell more inspired than ever. Looking forward to the next event."

"Great venue, Great people. Glad I came."

"Thought it was a great informal networking session. Got me inspired about making the most of others services to help my business grow."

"Fantastic venue! Great opportunity to network. Brilliant!"

"Fabulous idea to have an event on a barge. Great to meet the other ladies."

"Fantastic - really enjoyed the whole experience. Good opportunity to speak to women who have their own business. Thank you."

"I very nearly never came today, but I am so glad I did. I have really enjoyed it and look forward to the next event."

"Excellent event. Very novel. Lovely Atmosphere. Lovely food and staff."

"I enjoyed the event. Will definitely attend other women in business events."

"A big thank you to all who put this event together. It was extremely helpful, educational and a wonderful evening. I met some great like minded people who I look forward to working with in the future."

For more information on the 'Women's Business Forum' or future networking opportunities with The Women's Organisation, contact our team on 0151 706 8111 or

And if you would like to find out more about how Stepclever have supported businesses in North Liverpool and South Sefton please visit

Photographs from the event can be viewed in our flickr album.

Stockport Women Enjoy Business Networking

The Women's Organisation invited a group of women in business from the Stockport area to network this week. The women who had received help from The Women's Organisation to start their businesses joined together with Enterprise Enablers Mike Marsden and Ali McGrath who welcomed them with tips on making the most of the networking opportunity. The women enjoyed lunch at Oliver's restuarant while sharing experiences and swapping business cards.

Mike Marsden said "We recognise that once these women have started their businesses, the need for support doesn't stop. Networking is so important to keep a business connected and as a tool for marketing. It is a pleasure to be able to offer supported networking time like today's event to give the women we have helped an opportunity to try networking in a safe and supportive environment."

The women who attended were delighted with the event, and feedback comments about the afternoon and the support received included:

"The Women's Organisation have provided me with great support and invaluable advice. Wouldn't have set up my business without this help. Thanks so much Mike."

"Great lunch, great people."

"Brilliant organisation - Garden Angel would be lost without your support!"

"An excellent opportunity to meet others starting out in business - thank you"

"Networking lunch was very helpful. Thank you The Women's Organisation."

"Fantastic lunch, lovely food, lovely company. A great chance to chat and swap stories."

"The Women's Organisation give you all the info you need to set up in business and supplies the encouragement to keep it going!"

"Without The Women's Organisation I would have no idea as to how/where/when to start my own business."

"The Women's Organisation have been a huge help to me in starting my own business. I would thoroughly recommend."

"Without the help from Mike and The Women's Organisation, I wouldn't have known where to begin! Excellent practical help and support all along the way."

If you are a woman in the Stockport area needing support with setting up your own business, give our team a call on 0161 833 8800 or drop an email to to see how The Women's Organisation can help.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pitching for Management Event

Are you looking to strengthen your management team?
Huge salaries not expected – in fact no cash salary necessary
Pitching for Management in Liverpool – 30th November 2011, DWF, 4pm-7pm – free opportunity to get involved!

Did you know that one of the major reasons why investors reject an investment opportunity is because the management team is not yet complete enough for it to accept investment?

Pitching for Management is a live Dragons’ Den event for hiring top talent to join your firm to help you grow faster.

You have 8 minutes to pitch your business and explain who you want to work with you and why.

The people in the audience are all senior business people looking for a new challenge. They understand the challenges and opportunities of a fast growing business.

This is a launch event in Liverpool – however these events will be running throughout the UK and have launched in 18 cities and received great feedback - entrepreneurs have success in meeting people who can help them grow their businesses. And the good news is that not only is it free to pitch on the night, but the people who want to come and work with you, will be prepared to accept a package which DOES NOT involve paying a big or indeed any cash salary. They will be looking to share the risks and rewards of the business with you by taking bonuses, commissions, sweat equity and/or share options.

Your business does not have to be any particular size or shape to pitch. One of the things the audience most likes about our event is the variety of companies that pitch to them. So if you want or need someone with loads of experience to come and help you grow, please come and pitch.

To reserve your place speak to Caroline Sage on 01761 452 248, email her at or visit:

If you want some background on how to make a great pitch please check out

AngelNews the event organiser is giving a £2,000 cash prize to the winning pitch of the series. If you make the best pitch on the day, you will be invited to the series final in Bristol on 13th December. The winning pitch on that night will win the prize!

To come and see the pitches or for details about the event visit:
For further details about the concept try:

We Mentor - FREE business mentoring for women

We Mentor UK is a European mentoring project run in partnership with NCEE and The Women's Organisation that aims to provide guidance and support for women entrepreneurs to further grow their business enterprise.
The project will link mentors and mentees according to sector, skills, need and preference. Mentors and mentees will be able to work together both in person and through our comprehensive e-mentoring systems to share experiences and build an action plan.

Throughout the course of the project mentees will be given opportunity to:
• Reflect on their own business performance and examine principles of business practice
• Develop strategies for business growth
• Learn from the practices, culture, ethos, communication and procedures of another business
• Enhance their personal development, building in confidence
• Build on personal and professional networks for business opportunity
• Access shared business resources

To register to receive mentoring you should be a woman who:
• Has been running her own business for at least 1 year
• Employs at least 1 member of staff
• Is looking to develop and grow their business in a specific way
• Could benefit from the guidance and experience of a mature business

To register as a mentor you should:
• Have been running your own business for at least 5 years
• Have a commitment to mentoring responsibilities
• Have an awareness of specific issues facing women entrepreneurs
• Be interested in an opportunity for continued professional development

For more information or to register your interest, please contact The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 or

Maggie O'Carroll is 'Woman of the Year' - Livercool 2011

Downtown Liverpool held their prestigious 'Livercool' awards ceremony celebrating local business success in Crowne Plaza last Thursday night. The Women's Organisation were delighted to see a number of our clients among the nominees including: Emma Dolan of Your Business Ezine - Nominated in the Marketer 2011 category, Kayleigh & Talia Baccino of Trendy Vend- Nominated in the Young Entrepreneur 2011 category and Victoria Brown of High Performance Consultancy who was the eventual winner of Young Entrepreneur 2011.

The biggest cheer of the night came when our very own CEO Maggie O'Carroll was deservedly named 'Woman of the Year'. Maggie founded The Women’s Organisation (formally Train 2000) in 1996 and has grown it into the largest UK-based women’s economic development social enterprise. This has enabled Maggie to pursue her passion for women’s enterprise - having a real, positive impact on women’s lives, whether nurturing new businesses towards a viable future, driving improvements in legislation and power structures or contributing to social awareness. This year the physical realisation of her commitment to women's economic development came to life with the creation of WICED (Women's International Centre for Economic Development). The £5.3m development opened its doors in Liverpool to the first groups of local women in January 2011 and is continuing to build momentum as both a centre for women's enterprise and development, as well as an international research hub to promote gender equality.

A massive congratulations to Maggie and all of the winners and nominees.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Think Growth – Think Global: Focus on USA

Liverpool Chamber of Commerce in partnership with UKTI are hosting a free event at the Liverpool Cathedral to help your company to understand the USA market. Along with talks from US and UKTI specialists we will have local businesses as case studies.

Think Growth – Think Global: Focus on USA

Tuesday, 29th November 2011, 08:00-10:00am

Liverpool Cathedral, St James’ Mount, L1 7AZ
Entrance to main car park is via Upper Duke Street

You will have the opportunity to ask the right people about how to make those all important steps into accessing the US market.


08:00 – Registration and Breakfast
08:30 – Welcome & Opening by LCC
Getting the American Market to notice you. The do’s and don’ts of contemporary marketing in the US
Guest Speaker: Rick McKenna, President, Wallwork Curry McKenna, Boston MA

09:15 – Case Studies –
Steve Smith, Director, Software City
Stephen Wilde, Managing Director, The Translation People

09:40 – British-American Business Council North West –
Steve Smith, Chairman BABC

09:50 – North America Market Advisor, UKTI North West
Richard Northcote

10:00- Q & A

To reserve a place for this event, you can book online at or, alternatively, please contact or call us on 0151 227 1234.

The Women's Organisation Get Internet Savvy with Martha Lane Fox & Michelle Helsby

The Women's Organisation welcomed internet entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox (pictured left) to their 54 St James Street offices today for 'Women's Enterprise Day' as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. The event called 'Be Internet Savvy' was an opportunity for Martha to share stories of her journey to business success as well as reflecting on her role as the governments digital champion for Race Online 2012.

Speaking first at the event was the extremely inspirational local woman in business Michelle Helsby (pictured right) of Evolve Creative Media & Consultancy. Michelle, originally from Tuebrook, spoke about how her persistance of networking and "always being ready to sell" got her to where she is today. Also signed up as a digital champion, Michelle advised the women “Use the internet to build your knowledge beyond your own business”. In terms of networking and relationship building she said “Use social media, it’s not going away”.

Martha Lane Fox, co-founder of reflected on her business journey saying “In 1997 we were out there convincing people the internet is here to stay, now I am back out there still telling them the internet is important”. Her inspirational advice to the business women attending was “Don’t always listen to the experts, your own instincts are good” and “Business plans are just a piece of the puzzle, people buy people”.

As she started to talk Martha looking around said "You look like a friendly bunch so I'll tell you a story" and started to recollect the awkwardness of one of her early business pitches. She recalled arriving at a meeting with a potential investor, a business man she knew; Having looked over her business plan she said the gentleman looked up at her and said “yes it all looks good, but what happens if you get pregnant?”. Martha laughed to the women at how sexism and narrow mindedness can still be a factor in business, but encouraged them to keep pushing on. Her final words of encouragement were “If you are there, you are valid”.

The business women attending were also given the opportunity to throw questions at the special guests and to network. The event finished with the launch of new Eurpean mentoring project for women entrepreneurs 'We Mentor' which will offer women who have been running their business for over 12 months chance to receive mentoring for business growth from a business mentor who has been in business for at least 5 years. More information about this project run in partnership by The Women's Organisation and NCEE can be found on the prject's facebook fanpage.

Feedback comments for the event included:

“Two very inspirational speakers who gave lots of useful tips and advice”
“Very enjoyable, very inspirational”
“Really well organised”
“Very encouraging. Nice to know I am not the only one who feels overwhelmed. Some good advice for the future”
“Great Speakers”
“Excellent event for women in business wanting to be inspired to grow”
“Really informative. Felt very inspired by the business words of wisdom. Thank you”
“This was an excellent session. Very inspiring”
“Michelle, very inspirational”
“Found speakers very inspirational. Also very good networking event”
“Inspirationl speakers! Great to see local girl done good!”
“Super Event! Really enjoyed the 2 speakers and the mentoring project sounds interesting”

If you are a woman running your own business in the north west of England and you would like to take advantage of events like this, then contact our team on or 0151 706 8111 for details of how to join our business club.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Stockport's Anne Offers Whole Body Care Physiotherapy

When Anne Dansey’s contract with the NHS came to an end she decided to look at it as an opportunity. She wanted to find a way of combining the useful evidence base approach to physiotherapy treatments taught by the NHS along with more specialist treatments she was learning about outside of that framework to set up her own business.

Having never run her own business before, Anne wasn’t sure it would be possible and had no idea where to start. But a friend told her that support was available for women setting up in business through The Women’s Organisation, and so she made contact and soon found she could do it.

Anne said “I attended the courses and was given a business advisor who walked me though all the necessary steps. This included creating a business plan which makes you think about all the potential pitfalls and opportunities of opening a business including legal requirements and finances. They provided incredible support and as long as you are prepared to put in the work they help guide you through every step.”

It wasn’t all plain sailing, and Anne knew that lack of capital to start up was a potential barrier. With support she was able to arrange an interest free loan from the local council of £3,000 which helped her to create her clinic room and pay for furnishings and equipment. She was also put in touch with Evans easy space who had rooms available in Houldsworth mill and Art centre where she found affordable space with full disabled access, free parking, comfortable waiting areas and bathroom facilities.

“The best thing about running my own business is not having any restrictions on the service I provide; Not being restricted to the usual 20 to 30 minute slots of therapy; Not having to limit my clients to around 6 sessions if more are needed; Having the freedom to expand my skills and deliver them to my clients and seeing happy clients discharged from my clinic and knowing it was all the work I put in that helped to achieve that.”

Whole Body Care Physiotherapy provide treatments not often available on the NHS such as Flexotaping or KT taping, a treatment currently utilised by many top sports clubs and athletes but is not readily available to the wider public. Anne also offers treatments such as deep tissue massage, myofascial release and movement, and using a combination of techniques can help to relieve the majority of muscle and joint pains. As Whole Body Care Physiotherapy are committed to these hands on therapies, treatment sessions are often longer than an average physiotherapy session for more intensive treatment.

Anne is positive about the future of her business and said “I am proud of my achievements to date. I am finally open to the public doing a job I love. I have taken an empty space and created a warm and comfortable clinic room. I have had lots of good results with clients most of whom have been to several other clinicians before me with little or no effect.”

For more information on the treatments available from Whole Body Care Physiotherapy contact Anne on 0161-975-6270 or email The clinic is based at Houldsworth Mill, Houldsworth Street, Reddish, Stockport, SK5-6DA

And if like Anne you would like to explore setting up your own business then contact The Women’s Organisation on 0161 833 8800/ 0151 706 8111 or via email to

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Government Equalities Office Publish 'Strengthening Women's Voices in Government' Report

The Women's Organisation were interested to hear the announcement by Government Equalities Office that they were publishing the findings from the 'Strengthening Women's Voices in Government' public consultation. The Government consulted on a new model of engagement to bring women’s voices into Government. The consultation ran from 7 March until 15 June 2011 and set out the principles for the new approach, which are:

• Women across the UK can be heard and are enabled to influence and shape Government policy;
• The new approach must be genuinely cross-Government and departments are committed to listening to women, taking their views into account, and feeding back the results, and
• Women know what central Government is doing across the breadth of policies and are able to act on that knowledge.

The new approach should transform the way in which women’s voices are brought to Government, delivering an engagement framework which is direct, inclusive and transparent.

The top priorities women identified were:

• Issues relating to the workplace and women’s experience of work including promotion; better work life balance; childcare and setting up a business.
• Tackling violence against women and girls;
• A strong appetite for greater equality for women;
• Access to leadership positions, both in politics and business;
• More engagement with women, including with senior women in business/women entrepreneurs.

In her speech on 4th November on Women and the Economy, the Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities informed guests that the Government is publishing its response to the consultation.
To read the government’s response to the consultation please visit:

Further to the report, a new scheme was revealed by Theresa May to support female entrepreneurs through mentoring. The £2m initiative will see 5,000 business women trained to become volunteer mentors, with the aim of providing female entrepreneurs with positive role models.

If you are interested in receiving business mentoring or offering mentoring to other businesses, follow our 'We Mentor' project on Twitter.

Setting Up a Social Enterprise 1 Day Course With KPAC

Date & Time: Mon, 28/11/2011 - 09:30 - 16:00
Venue: KPAC, The Old Schoolhouse, St.John’s Road, Huyton, L36 0UX

This course is aimed at people who are interested in learning more about social enterprises and want to know what the advantages are of being a social enterprise business and how to go about the initial steps of considering and setting up a social enterprise.

Course content includes:

What is a Social Enterprise?
The difference between social enterprises and other businesses
Different types of social enterprise
Considerations when setting up a social enterprise
Management structures in social enterprise
The triple bottom line
Advantages and Disadvantages of being a social enterprise
Stakeholder analysis
First steps in setting up a social enterprise

Cost: £49.00 – Lunch and refreshments included

For further information on this course, or if you would like to book a please contact KPAC

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

'Step Up' Personal Development for Sefton Women

Sefton women looking to build confidence and build steps to a positive future are invited to join The Women's Organisation ‘Step Up’ programme.

This interactive programme is open FREE to women in the Sefton area who want to improve their overall confidence to be able to plan a successful future. Over 3 Mondays ‘Step Up’ will look at:

• Positive Thinking and Learning about Yourself
• How to Become a More Assertive You
• Building Your Communication Skills
• Completing a Skills Audit and Developing a Personal Profile
• How to Present Yourself with Confidence

To be eligible for a FREE place on this programme you must:
• Be aged 19+ and have been resident in the UK or any other EU state for over 3 years
• Live in one of the following wards within Sefton and be able to provide proof of address:
o Church, Linacre, Derby, Ford, Litherland, Netherton, Orrell, St Oswald, Duke, Cambridge

At: Seaforth Children’s Centre, Caradoc Road, Seaforth, L21
On: Mondays 21st, 28th Nov & 5th Dec 9.30am-3pm

To book your FREE place call 0151 706 8111 or email

Funding Opportunity for Prince's Park Ward Community Groups

Austin Smith Memorial Small Grants Fund

The Liverpool 8 Law Centre has created the Austin Smith Memorial Fund in recognition of Father Smith’s significant community work in the Toxteth area.

Father Smith (1928 – 2011) was a tireless campaigner for social justice and sought to improve the everyday lives of people in his community. The memorial fund will distribute funds to community groups that in different ways are continuing his work.
You will be able to apply for a grant up to £1,000 per group.

Who can apply
• Small not for profit community groups in the Princes Park ward
• Organisations who have not received funding from this source this year
What you will need to apply
• A constitution
• A bank account in the name of the organisation with two unrelated cheque signatories

What the grants are used for?
• Help start, new small projects and activities
• Contribute towards the running of an event, festival or other special occasion which will promote community involvement or co-operation
• Groups who deliver intergenerational activities especially those which may reduce isolation
• Projects that will develop stronger communities-people working together to tackle issues in their neighbourhood
• Projects that have long lasting benefits

Small grants will not be awarded for the following purposes:
• Applications from individuals
• Social / health care
• Staff salaries or management costs
• Purchase of vehicles/IT equipment
• General appeals/fundraising/overseas travel
• Schools/registered social landlords
• Purchase or consumption of alcohol

How to apply
You can download an application pack online at:

If you require a hard copy or for further details, contact the Community Resource Unit (CRU) on 233 4436 or email

Closing date: Friday 9 December 2011 at 12noon
Note: Successful former applicants to the Austin Smith Fund this year 2011-2012 cannot apply.

Source: LCVS

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Women's Organisation Support 'Counting Women In' Campaign

The Women's Organisation have signed up to back 'Counting Women In' campaign. The movement headed up by Fawcett Society and partners asks for support to fight for women to have an equal presence and voice in British politics. 50/50 male/female representation is the goal of the campaign.

Why is the campaign important?
There are currently more millionaires than women in the Cabinet. Just 22% – or 1 in 5 - members of the Westminster Parliament are women and the number of women MPs has increased by only 4 per cent since 1997. This means a child born today will be drawing her pension before she has an equal voice in the government of her country.

Decisions of national importance – about everything from whether to go to war to what to teach in our schools – are being made without women round the table: the different experiences and perspectives of one half of the country are not being heard.

How can you get involved?
An online petition to support the push for gender equality at a parlimentary level has been set up. You can go and sign the petition online to show your support. If you work for an organisation who would like to back the campaign you too can sign up to back the movement.

Go to for details and to join in.

'Build a Business on a Budget' with The Women's Organisation Enterprise Fair

Celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week –
Come and join our Enterprise Fair

Drop in On: Thursday 17th November 1pm-4pm
At: The Women’s Organisation, 54 St James Street, L1 0AB

‘Build a Business on a Budget’ Marketplace will feature stalls helping you to:

• Find out about small low cost franchises
• Understand how tax credits work when self employed
• Look at how you could turn a hobby or skill into a business you could set up from home
• Find out about training opportunities that can help you to reach your goals
• Find out about funding and free support available to women going self-employed

Join in our short:
‘Is self-employment for you’ taster workshops
Running at 1.30pm, 2.30pm, or 3.30pm

For more info call 0151 706 8111 or email

Monday, October 31, 2011

Build a Web Strategy for Your Business

Celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week – You are invited to:

‘Build a Web Strategy For Your Business’
With Leon Brown

On: Tuesday 15th November 10am-1pm
At: The Women’s Organisation, 54 St James Street, L1 0AB

Leon Brown is the Internet consultant of NextPoint who develop apps for web, phones and desktop computers that empower people and businesses to reach their full potential. Leon will be representing the Business Support Network - a project he has developed aimed at supporting small and start-up businesses through the knowledge and skills of experts. His interesting master class will look at:

• Software tools you can use for business efficiency
• Driving traffic to your website
• Legalities of online business
• Security issues – protecting yourself online
• Online payment management
• Strategic online networking
• Choosing your web developer and working with them

Open to members of The Women's Organisation Business Club.

Business Club Membership is currently FREE and open to women running their own business in the north west of England. For more info or to take up a free membership please contact

For more info about this event or to book your FREE place call 0151 706 8111 or email

Friday, October 28, 2011

'Be Internet Savvy' - With Martha Lane Fox

Celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week – The Women's Organisation invite you to:

‘Be Internet Savvy’ With Martha Lane Fox

On: Wednesday 16th November 9.30am-12pm
At: The Women’s Organisation, 54 St James Street, L1 0AB

As the UK Government’s Digital Champion, Martha Lane Fox founded the Race Online 2012campaign and sits on the Cabinet Office’s Efficiency and Reform Board. She is also non-executive director at M&S, Channel 4 and In 2005 she co-founded Lucky Voice, to revolutionise karaoke with its 6 venues and online business and in 2007 she started Antigone, a grant giving foundation. In 1998 with Brent Hoberman, she co-founded, still Europe’s largest travel and leisure website - they took the company public in 2000 and sold it in 2005.

Also sharing her experiences will be local woman in business and digital champion Michelle Helsby, Evolve Creative Media and Consultancy.

Michelle is Managing Director at Liverpool based Evolve. Whilst architectural 3d imagery and animation has been the backbone of Evolve’s offer they have recently expanded to cover a range of creative media services. Michelle has also recently set up Evolve Consultancy and is currently advising the Horizon consortium on all things Liverpool to enhance their bid to build the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

The Women's Organisation will also be exclusively revealing details of our new 'WE Mentor UK' project in partnership with NCEE - watch this space!

The event is FREE and open to any business women in Merseyside or Greater Manchester as part of The Women's Organisation 'Global Entrepreneurship Week' celebrations.

For more info or to book your FREE place call 0151 706 8111 or email

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Women's Organisation talk to Daily Telegraph: "Business Link Will Stay Onshore"

In an article published this week by The Daily Telegraph, The Women's Organisation discussed the impact of the announcement that UK Enterprise Support Helpline Business Link will be taken over by a call centre operator notorious for outsourcing to India.

A subsidiary of Hinduja Global Solutions, an Indian outsourcing services group, is being paid by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to provide its business support helpline after the Business Link office network closes on November 25.

The call centre operator taking over Business Link support services from the end of November has promised that business callers will not be dealt with by its staff in India. The Telegraph debated whether the 1/3 of businesses who have previously used this service will still be offered the same quality of support from the tailored down offering.

The move comes as part of the continuing impact of the Coalition’s announcement of mass cuts to public sector services.

Maggie O’Carroll, chief executive of the Women’s Organisation, the largest women’s enterprise agency in the UK, warned that business support funding was “falling off a cliff” as the Business Link contracts and regional development agencies wound down despite evidence that tailored business advice led to productivity gains.

The Women’s Organisation, a social enterprise, is based in the £5.5m Women’s International Centre for Economic Development in Liverpool, which opened four months ago. It is 80% reliant on public sector contracts and has seen a 25% increase in demand for advice from new businesses involving women. Last year, the organisation advised 2,300 women and was involved in the creation of 362 businesses.

“It is not funding cuts, we are talking about literally saying goodbye. There is no central-led investment in start-ups,” said Ms O’Carroll. “It’s not the death nail to an organisation like ourselves, but it really does hamper. We are limping rather than running and we need to be running.”

Visit The Daily Telegraph to see the full article.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Business Women Get 'Work/Life Balance' Pointers

This month The Women's Organisation Business Club invited local women in business to evaluate their Work/Life Balance.

Sylvia of SW Associates was the guest speaker for the evening bringing her 25 years plus of experience working in the field of coaching and mentoring. In 2008 Sylvia set up her own business with the help of The Women's Organisation, so during her interactive talk wshe was able to draw on her own experiences of chosing where to best spend her time, rather than doing the tempting thing of 'spreading yourself too thin'. She says "self management is the key to time management". Between networking the women were guided by Sylvia to:

• recognise their own patterns of behaviour
• iditify how to eliminate 'time wasters'
• look at how to plan time more effectively

Feedback comments left at the end of the event included:

"Interesting and useful"
"Encouraging and welcoming"
"This was my first visit, I am excited to come back!"
"Great night. Good to meet everyone and mingle"
"It was a really informative talk"
"Fantastic Evening"
"Inspired by projects and business approaches"
"Informative relaxed atmosphere. Enjoyable"
"Great to network"
"Good balance of information"
"A good kick up the bum"
"A very positive, informative event. Thank you"

The Women's Organisation are currently offering FREE membership to our Business club which offers women in the northwest of England regular opportunities to network and attend specialist training events. For details of how to join and forthcoming events contact or call 0151 706 8111.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kuumba Day Nursery Opens

On the 10th October 2011 a new social enterprise day nursery opened its doors to children aged 0-5 years for the first time. The nursery located in the Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre Princes Road is aptly named Kuumba Day Nursery.

Kuumba Imani Millennium Centres' experience of working with children and families is extensive. They have for many years provided a wide range of support services, which have met the needs of local people in particularly women and children.

The service will operate up to 51 weeks per year Monday to Friday from
7.30am- 6.30pm excluding Bank holidays and will accommodate up to 29 children aged between 0-5 years.

It is intended that the provision will be a well balanced multicultural day nursery, which reflects the demographic profile of Liverpool. As such, all children and their families from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds will be welcome.

To ensure the child care delivered is to a high standard, highly qualified staff have been appointed to ensure that the quality of child care is exceptional, meets the requirements of OfSted and expectations of parents/carers. Kuumba Day Nursery have specifically appointed staff whose qualifications exceed the current industry requirements and have had the support of Liverpool City Council during this process. As such they are confident that their childcare team have the skills, experience and knowledge to deliver their primary objective which is to deliver first class child care in a supportive nurturing environment of which 'the child is of primary consideration'.

Michelle Charters Chief Executive Officer said "Kuumba Imani has had a long tradition of supporting families in the local community. The day nursery is a new venture for us, which has gained support from Liverpool City Council and the Adventure Capital Fund. Our nursery is open to all families and will provide a unique
setting in which children can thrive."

Jennifer Watson Nursery Manager said
"As an Early Years Professional this is a really exciting opportunity.
Opening our doors to all families in need of child care support will enable us to break down some of the barriers that exist in our society.
The new provision has a number of key values which underpin our approach to child care, including creating a nurturing environment in which children can feel safe, valued, have a sense of place and the opportunity to reach their full potential. Word is starting to spread already about our new nursery and places are filling up fast"

To register your child or for more information, to visit the nursery or to request a prospectus contact:
Jennifer Watson Nursery Manager
Telephone: 0151 709 8162 or 0151 708 5278

Friday, October 14, 2011

Women’s Enterprise Experts Call for More Support for Female Entrepreneurs

The Women's Organisation has joined a UK-wide group of influential women entrepreneurs, academics and policy experts to call on the Government to act urgently to encourage women-owned businesses or risk wasting a multi-million pound opportunity to grow the economy.

The Women’s Enterprise Policy Group believes that women who are capable of starting growth companies that serve global markets may be the nation’s ‘secret weapon’ for achieving sustained economic growth.

It comes as yesterday's jobs figures show female unemployment at its highest level for 23 years with a record level of young people, including many female graduates, without work.

In a newly-published report, The Women’s Enterprise Policy Group says that self-employment and business ownership can be a positive way of addressing these issues as well as helping existing women-owned businesses to take on new employees and contractors.

Maggie O’Carroll, Chief Executive of the largest UK women’s enterprise agency, Liverpool-based The Women’s Organisation and a key member of the policy group said: “At a time when government funding for business support has been cut and when many businesses are struggling to survive and grow, there is a danger that the progress made to date will falter and the multi-billion pound opportunity which growth from female-led enterprises can bring to the economy will not be realised.”

In its report ‘A Multi Million £ Opportunity – The Untapped Growth Potential of UK Women Entrepreneurs’ the group calls for a range of measures including:
• Appointment of a women’s enterprise champion within government to raise awareness of economic benefits of encouraging more women to start and grow businesses
• Investment in business growth programmes for existing female entrepreneurs
• Doubling the number of women entrepreneurs using mentors and/or networking opportunities by promoting activities amongst networking groups
• Assisting local enterprise partnerships and local authorities to develop business support and economic development policies and strategies which optimise women’s enterprise in their localities
• Ensuring current university and further education support is attractive and useful to young women, closing the gap between the numbers of young men and young women starting businesses

The report comes as the British Conservative MEP Marina Yannakoudakis made a call for more support to enable working mothers and other women to start up or grow their own small businesses. The European Parliament member believes that targeting women with the right information about how to launch a business can help produce a new generation of women entrepreneurs.

The Women’s Enterprise Policy Group report highlights that there are more than 700,000 women-owned businesses operating across the nation in every sector and their role in growing the economy, and creating and sustaining new jobs, is crucial to recovery and growth.

Findings include:
• 14% of all SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) are women-led (around 170,000)
• 86% of women-led SME’s are micro businesses (employing between one and nine staff)
• 13% are ‘small businesses’ (employing between 10 and 49 staff) and 2% are ‘medium’ businesses (employing between 50 and 249)

The findings coincide with additional evidence gathered by the Kauffman Foundation in the United States which provides compelling evidence as to the economic value and opportunity that the female entrepreneurial market offers to the UK economy.

The report will be highlighted by The Women’s Organisation when it as it led women’s enterprise strand at the 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Liverpool in March.

The Women’s Organisation, based with a new £5.5m Women’s International Centre for Economic Development in Liverpool, provides a range of services focused on women’s start-up businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises. This includes ’incubation’ units for new and high growth women enterprises and an international research and knowledge centre focused on women’s enterprise and wider economic development issues.

To find out more about the free services available from The Women’s Organisation, including advice and support on starting a business, call 0151 706 8111 or email You can also follow us on Twitter, 'like' us on facebook or link up with us on linkedin.